SWANGE DANCE Introduction. Benue State is state of the historic Benue river, a State renowned for the valiancy of its progenitors, a State of notable political gladiators and hardworking people who rightly brand themselves as ‘the food basket of the nation’. Benue is also a State of rich cultures and traditions, as exemplified in the world acclaimed SWANGE DANCE which has brought fame to both the State and the nation. Meaning of Dance Dance is a type of art that generally involves movement of the body, often rhythmic and to music.
It is performed in many cultures as a form of emotional expression, social interaction, or exercise, in a spiritual or performance setting, and is sometimes used to express ideas or tell a story. Dance may also be regarded as a form of nonverbal communication between humans or other animals, as in bee dances and behaviour patterns such as a mating dances. Definitions of what constitutes dance can depend on social and cultural norms and aesthetic, artistic and moral sensibilities.
Definitions may range from functional movement (such as folk dance) to virtuoso techniques such as ballet. Martial arts kata are often compared to dances, and sports such as gymnastics, figure skating and synchronized swimming are generally thought to incorporate dance. In some cases, the motion of ordinarily inanimate objects may be described as dance (the leaves danced in the wind). History Dance does not leave behind clearly identifiable physical artifacts such as stone tools, hunting implements or cave paintings. It is not possible to say when dance became part of human culture.
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Joseph Jordania recently suggested that dance, together with rhythmic music and body painting, was designed by the forces of natural selection at the early stage of hominid evolution as a potent tool to put groups of human ancestors in a battle trance, a specific altered state of consciousness. The same could be said of the Swange dance which originated from middle belt of Nigeria, Benue state, among the Tiv, Igala and Idoma people, a locale which is around the River Niger. Swange is a popular social dance of the Tiv people of Benue State in Central Nigeria.
It is a dance of fast, slow, rhythmic and undulating movements, expressing youth and vigour. Swange is played at various types of social and religious functions for the enjoyment of the old and the young. The dance is characterized by rhythmic contortion in slow mode & vibrant display, typical of African dance forms. It has wonderful beat and beautiful rhythm. It is heavily percussion- based, aided by a traditional horn (al-gaita), which blows in an unbroken succession for as long as the drumming, Singing and dancing is going on. The dance particularly exhibits fluidity in body movement, which was inspirited by the flow of the River .
Sixfootplus had this to say about it "Swange is the name given to the traditional dance of the Tiv-speaking people of Benue state of Nigeria. The dance is characterized by rhythmic contortion in slow mode & vibrant display, typical of African dance forms. It is heavily percussion- based, aided by a traditional horn (al-gaita), which blows in an unbroken succession for as long as the drumming, Singing and dancing is going on. " Some Benue artists mix this dance pattern up with their stage performances to the admiration of their fans; notable amond these are, Zulezoo, Bravo D, Sixfootplus etc.
If you have been opportuned to listen to Swange music or watched the Swange dance, let us know what you feel about it. Significance of Swange Dance Swange Dance has been an important part of ceremony, rituals, celebrations and entertainment since before the birth of the earliest human civilizations. [pic] Swange Dance References www. nairaland. com/12749/swange-music-how-see-it http://www. goodlife. com. ng/gltourism. php? gltourism=read&id=164 Joseph Jordania, 2011, Why do People Sing? Music in Human Evolution, Logos, pg. 98-102
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